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Welcome to week two of Project Runway. It's time again for one of our favorite challenges—the designers must make an outfit out of unconventional materials. In past seasons, contestants have been forced to use auto parts, garbage, grocery store supplies, plants and items from the Hershey's store—the last of which resulted in a few fabulous New Wave-style dresses worthy of Stephen Sprouse. This time, the designers are taken to Petland Discount and told they must create their designs out of pet store supplies. Tim Gunn warns them to avoid using anything too similar to fabric and not to use any actual pets. So much for a Lady Gaga-esque puppy coat.
Most of the contestants have fun with the challenge, but Bert feels it's beneath him to create something so costumey. He takes advantage of his immunity from last week and decides not to worry about following the rules—nor about making something attractive. Anya uses leashes to make a gorgeous halter, which looks suspiciously like her top from last week. Guess she can't say she's never made one of those before. Surprisingly, this week pet wee-wee pads are all the rage. Bryce uses them to construct a light blue poofy skirt, which looks like it's made from Depends, and Viktor dyes them lavender to make a gorgeous strapless number—which closely resembles an Alice + Olivia cocktail dress we own.
Speaking of Alice + Olivia, our guest judge this week is the label's cool and quirky founder, Stacey Bendet. Bendet, with her hair tied in a giant bow straight out of Madonna's closet—circa 1984, makes a wonderfully outspoken judge. Our only complaint is that she doesn't bring her hilarious two year old daughter Eloise along to help out—like that time Eloise "helped" a.k.a. "hijacked" our Fashion Week interview with the designer. Unlike Eloise, Stacey's fellow judges, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum are all over the age of two, although Nina does end up hijacking the proceedings.
Our favorite of the top three designers for the week is Anthony, who makes an extremely short, fitted dress, completely embellished with bird seed. Joining him are Joshua M, with a top embellished with neon fish tank gravel and a sheer black circle skirt, and Olivier with a frumpy dog's bed lamb wool top and a skirt made of hamster and rabbit bedding chips. Heidi, not surprisingly, loves Anthony's sexy dress. Whereas, Nina, who is less inclined to display all her assets, prefers Olivier's outfit's more "editorial edge." We never realized that "editorial" translates to "makes the model look twenty pounds heavier." Sadly, just like during last season's finale, Nina prevails over Heidi, and Olivier wins. Which reminds us—Nina, how'd that Gretchen over Mondo choice work out for you?
Our bottom three this week includes Fallene's, autumnal ensemble with its pretty floral skirt. We suspect the main reason the designer ends up in the bottom is because she actively agrees with all the judges' criticisms of her work. Joining her in the losers' lounge are our Mormon duo: Joshua C, whose boring ensemble is made out of an umbrella, and Bryce with his aforementioned wee-wee pads dress. Despite the judges' description of Bryce's outfit as "one of the worst" they've seen, Heidi bids "auf Wiedersehen" to Josh C. In Project Runwayland, hideous often triumphs over dull.
And now for this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness...
10. Fallene wears a measuring tape around her head as a headband. After seeing the way she handles herself on the runway, we're guessing she doesn't need to use many inches.
9. Bert scoffs, "I'm leaving the clown stuff to the other designers," then makes a dress with a Bozo-esque ruffle.
8. Olivier says his design, "Definitely says something about my authenticity as a designer." Yes and his British accent definitely says something about his authenticity as an Ohioan.
7. Fallene explains, "I don't take fashion too seriously," then spends the rest of the episode proving it.
6. The judges accuse Josh C of having no imagination—guess they aren't familiar with the Book of Mormon.
5. Anya glues leashes to her outfit saying, "I'm kind of like performing a miracle in these last few minutes." Yes, Anya, you're the new Annie Sullivan.
4. Michael Kors describes Fallene's model as "Miss Pumpkin." Wait, isn't that the pumpkin calling the pumpkin...?
3. Laura junks her first skirt because it's so short that it exposes her model's butt. Somewhere out there, Ping from Season Seven brags, "I showed ass first!"
2. After Olivier wins, Heidi informs him that he has immunity for the next challenge. He responds, "I will only work harder"—but doesn't follow it with, "Unlike Bert."
1. Fallene says she's getting addicted to gluing things, we're guessing it's more the smell than the act.
· Project Runway Ep. 1: Pajamas Aren't Just For Sleeping [Racked]
· Alice + Olivia [Official Site]